Lots Of Ground Water Coming In Fireplace Cleanout... - Concrete, Stone & Masonry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 03-10-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
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Lots of Ground Water Coming in Fireplace Cleanout...


I have a home built in upstate NY in 1982 with a wood burning fireplace on the first floor and a full basement with a cleanout door for the ash pit near the floor in the basement. The cleanout door is a 8x8 hole in the foundation cement block then it leads to the ash pit which is essentially a 2 ft by 6 ft cavity which I would consider to be a foundation for the fireplace above.

My home apparently has a high water table because the sump runs every 20 minutes or so during the winter and into the spring (but only once a day during summer). I have already addressed gutter drainage issues and grading and it is fine around the fireplace on the outside. Well a few days ago I noticed water coming out the fireplace cleanout door in the basement. I opened up the door and the cavity of the fireplace ash pit is full of water. I took out about 15 gallons and then within a half-day it was full again. There has been no rain or snow or anything (the temps were warmer so existing snow has melted) so it is ground water.

I have an interior drain tile weeping system and drilled two holes in the cement block to channel the water which gets into the foundation block into the trough that goes to the sump....but the fireplace ash pit cavity is still full of water and it continously leaks into the foundation block (which then leaks into the trough). I don't feel comfortable with this much water sitting right outside the foundation even if it does have somewhere to eventually go.

Any ideas on where I should look to see where this is coming from? I think I am going to call a foundation companyu/fireplace specialist to see what they think but I want to be armed with some knowledge before hand.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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Lots of Ground Water Coming in Fireplace Cleanout...


grew up in binghamton so well aware of wet bsmts proper gutter/soil slope drainage is always good but rarely address'd til wtr's found & by then its too late to be of much help.

is it a sub-floor full perimeter system YOU install'd or had install'd by a pro ? absent having a finished room near the ask pit, its a wag the sump's either in the wrong spot OR the ash pit issue wasn't noticed/ignored/address'd,,, 2 drilled holes doesn't sound like a pro's work nor does leaving a ' trough ',,, of course its groundwtr - the big question is whether its a high wtr table OR seepage from all the below-grade pathways for rain to run downhill once it penetrates the soil.

i'd advise treating the problem correctly rather than trying to stop wtr from entering the home ( always MUCH more $$$$ ! )

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Old 03-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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Lots of Ground Water Coming in Fireplace Cleanout...


Quote:
Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
grew up in binghamton so well aware of wet bsmts proper gutter/soil slope drainage is always good but rarely address'd til wtr's found & by then its too late to be of much help.

is it a sub-floor full perimeter system YOU install'd or had install'd by a pro ? absent having a finished room near the ask pit, its a wag the sump's either in the wrong spot OR the ash pit issue wasn't noticed/ignored/address'd,,, 2 drilled holes doesn't sound like a pro's work nor does leaving a ' trough ',,, of course its groundwtr - the big question is whether its a high wtr table OR seepage from all the below-grade pathways for rain to run downhill once it penetrates the soil.

i'd advise treating the problem correctly rather than trying to stop wtr from entering the home ( always MUCH more $$$$ ! )
Its the original interior weeping system to the house.....there is a 1 inch gap between the floating concrete slab floor and the concrete foundation wall which is filled with gravel to allow any water which seeps down the wall to enter the gap then drop into the drain pipe under the slab (which then travels to the sump). its pretty much the common set-up of all homes around here.

1/2 inch Holes were then added (Ive been told this is common) every few feet in the concrete block to allow any water build up in the concrete blocks to drain into the gap and into the weeping tile.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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Lots of Ground Water Coming in Fireplace Cleanout...


that 1" gap's called a ' slot drain ' but its really space from which form boards were placed so the floor could be screed'd to the right elevation,,, rather'n fill it OR do the work properly in the 1st place, ' they ' invented the word ' slot drain ' & its become accepted,,, eventually it fills w/dirt/bug carcasses/junk & doesn't do anything worth a damn how does 1 fill a 1" slot w/gravel OR crushed stone ? in upstate ny, ' gravel ' was commonly understood to be clean mix of river sands & small rocks not containing any deleterious or organic mtls,,, that definition may've changed over the yrs as i recall ' gay ' once meant happy

no matter what, wtr's still entering your bsmt wall where unseen damage's taking place as a result of soluble soil acids attacking the lime ( 1 of cement's ingredients ),,, eventually you'll notice lime salts form on the bsmt walls,,, we've often replaced block walls that have collapsed due to this unseen damage


whoever told you that is blowing smoke ykw,,, it may be common but that doesn't make it right,,, so, how can we help you further ?
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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Lots of Ground Water Coming in Fireplace Cleanout...


You could use a small video camera to see what is going on inside the ash pit, namely get an idea where the water is entering.

Still it would require some effort to access the inside of the ash pit.

Another possibility is to dig a (another) sump pump pit against the basement wall just under the ash pit opening and enlarge that opening so water in the ash pit drains by gravity into the new sump pump pit.
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